Login with Patreon
Diablo > Diablo 4Apr 20, 2023 10:00 am CT

Who is Duriel, and what role might he play in Diablo 4?

Duriel from Diablo

Diablo 4 is on its way in just a few short months, so now is a fantastic time to look into the lore and see how some old characters might make their return. Let’s take a look at Duriel and see what role he might play in Diablo 4.

Who is Duriel?

Duriel is the Lord of Pain and the twin brother of Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish. He is a Lesser Evil along with Andariel, Azmodan, and Belial, and was created from one of the heads of Tathamet, a seven-headed dragon and the personification of Evil. When the Lesser Evils became discontent with the Prime Evils (Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto) after the Sin War, Duriel and Andariel joined in with Azmodan and Belial to take them down. After the Lesser Evils overcame the Prime Evils and exiled them from Hell, known as the Dark Exile, Duriel watched as Azmodan and Belial fought to be the supreme ruler of Hell.

Knowing that the Prime Evils would one day make their return to Hell, Duriel and Andariel offered their services to Diablo by protecting his human host, Prince Aidan of Khanduras, aka the Dark Wanderer. When Diablo finally freed his brother Baal from the bodily prison of the Sorcerer Tal Rasha, Baal left Duriel behind to guard the tomb as punishment for the Dark Exile. There, Duriel claimed the lives of any and all adventures who dared to step foot in the tomb until one day when he was defeated and slain by a group of heroes.

His “death” wouldn’t last very long, of course. Adria the Witch, a devout follower of Diablo, trapped Duriel’s soul into the Black Soulstone. Eventually, Duriel would become one with Diablo. But after Diablo’s defeat, Duriel’s soul was once again trapped in the Black Soulstone along with Diablo until Malthael, the Archangel of Wisdom turned Angel of Death, shattered the Soulstone, freeing Diablo. Since Duriel was still merged with Diablo, he was not fully free. It is unknown how Duriel was able to free himself from Diablo, but it is now believed that he has returned to Sanctuary.

Duriel’s appearances in past Diablo games

In Diablo 2, you encounter Duriel in Act II. True to the lore, you will find him in Tal Rasha’s Chamber while on the Dark Wanderer’s trail. This is one of the harder boss fights in Diablo 2 because of his speed, freezing ability, and lack of maneuverability in the chamber. After his defeat, his essence is placed in the Dark Soulstone by Adria.

After being trapped in the Dark Soulstone, as Diablo 3 began, Duriel remains there, his essence merged with Diablo. Eventually, Diablo is freed when Malthael destroys the Soulstone, but Duriel remained tied to Diablo. When Malthael is defeated, there is nothing left to contain or control Diablo. We don’t know what happens to Duriel after that, but sometime between the events of Diablo 3 and Diablo 4, Duriel is able to free himself from Diablo.

Duriel in Diablo 4

It was revealed in the 2020 Diablo 4 Gameplay Trailer that Duriel will return in Diablo 4, and if you played during the Open Beta weekends, then you might have noticed a certain challenge.

  • Challenge: Slayer of Pain — Kill Duriel in Hardcore Mode.
    • Titles: Pained, Protector

So where could Duriel be, and whose side might he be on? It’s completely possible that he and his sister are on Lilith’s side, and that perhaps her followers had something to do with his release. She is, after all, incredibly persuasive and has devout followers who would do absolutely abhorrent things for her. Even though we don’t see him around the starting zone, his influence can be seen in some of the side quests that you complete.

There’s one quest in particular that stands out. You are tasked with finding a woman’s husband who has gone missing. When you do find him, you learn that he has been seduced by a banshee. You find him naked and tied to poles, and his flesh has been seemingly flayed from his body. Any normal, well-adjusted person would be screaming in pain, but not this husband. He looks to be enjoying himself and wants…more? It’s all very disturbing, but the fact that this man enjoys the pain he’s in just screams, “Duriel” and, to some extent, “Andariel.” Duriel is a demon who relishes in the pain and agony of others. So for someone to actively seek out pain and beg for more would absolutely fall within Duriel’s domain and influence. Mix that in with Lilith’s ability to tap into people’s most basic violent desires, and you have the perfect pain/anguish/violence sundae. The disheartened people of Sanctuary don’t stand a chance.

But what does this mean? Duriel has been met with defeat throughout Diablo’s timeline. He was killed in Diablo 2 and brought back in Diablo 3. Lilith has a score to settle with Inarius and humanity, so recruiting some of the Lesser Evils to her side would seem like the smart thing to do. Her message would undoubtedly resonate with someone like Duriel, who faced an embarrassing defeat at the hands of puny humans.

This, of course, is all speculation, and it could be that Duriel and Andariel are simply on their own and creating chaos wherever they roam. We’ll find out more when Diablo 4 releases on June 6, 2023.

Blizzard Watch is made possible by people like you.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!


Join the Discussion

Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our  commenting and community guidelines.

Toggle Dark Mode: